I’m sure many of you have heard of Toastmasters International by now. No, it is not a Golf tournament as one of my colleagues at UPS thought it to be. It is a worldwide organization dedicated for improving Public Speaking, Listening and the Leadership skills.
Since most of the Fortune 500 companies have local Toastmasters clubs, I also had an opportunity to be part of Toastmasters at UPS. I found the experience so enriching that I’m planning to be associated with it (one way or another) till the rest of my life. The organization is not just about improving our public speaking or presentation skills, it also helps us grow in many aspects.
First of all, it is difficult to find a positive, supportive and encouraging atmosphere in the corporate world. Even if there is, you can never trust it for sure as it is all about the dollar at end of the day!! Our colleagues and managers have to make decisions that are good for the company, not us.
I made great usage of my time at UPS by joining Toastmasters Club. I learned and validated some important lessons in life, would like to share these:
1) We are not born genius: I agree that few of us are endowed with some special gift since our childhood. But most of the things in life that matter (and contribute towards great success) can be learnt and honed.
2) We are all different and have our own strengths: Even though some people might seem pathetic and hopeless, they do have certain strengths. It is just that we are not aware of it.
3) Giving is the key: Best way to attain riches (of any kind) is that you simply Give. Volunteer and Help as much as you can. Nobody has gone broke while Giving.
Do you know what’s the number one fear in America?
It is public speaking and number two is death. More people would rather die than make a speech.
The toastmasters experience helps you overcome your worst fear. It helps you become confident in life. I like the term “taking the bull by the horns”, that’s exactly how I feel when I deliver a speech. I have used the same strategy in other aspects of my life as well whether it is getting rid of bad habits, acquiring good ones or facing other challenges in life.
Yes, the Toastmasters meetings might seem corny at times but look at the positive side. Who will continuously support and motivate you in spite of your shortcomings and failures?
I have shared more thoughts on the same below (see Page 1 and 2):
The Toastmasters opportunity is available in all the major cities around the world and it is not expensive to join either.
Could it be part of your new year’s resolution?